Fuelling the future of the cruise industry with sustainable choices

Bureau Veritas is leading efforts to develop rules for fuels that help to reduce the environmental impact of passenger shipping

Fuelling the future of the cruise industry with sustainable choices
Bureau Veritas has helped to develop new rules for the first ‘ammonia prepared’ and full ammonia-fuelled ships

In the face of the climate emergency and the need to protect and resuscitate ecosystems, the entire shipping industry must urgently decarbonise its operations.  

The move to net-zero carbon emissions will require innovation and an understanding of the risks involved with developing practical design and operational requirements for low-carbon or carbon-free fuels and propulsion systems. 

Building on classification and fuel expertise developed during projects involving innovative LNG-fuelled cruise ships such as Ponant’s Le Commandant Charcot and other LNG bunkering projects, Bureau Veritas (BV) is creating rules for future fuels like ammonia. 

To date, Bureau Veritas has helped to develop new rules for the first ‘ammonia prepared’ and full ammonia-fuelled ships, methanol-fuelled vessels and wind propulsion systems. It has also created a timeline for the introduction of new rules for hydrogen in 2022. 

These new rules – and the ones under development – will enable the design and construction of future ships able to safely run future fuel propulsion systems in compliance with international and local requirements. When these new innovations become a reality, stakeholders can make better commercial decisions based on the best insights related to safety, environmental protection and risk management. 

New fuels present different challenges that must be addressed. For example, ammonia is toxic and must be managed with great care to ensure safety. Developed in consultation with industry stakeholders, Bureau Veritas’s rules enable shipowners to achieve this by providing continuous updates in response to operational feedback. 

Over the medium to longer term, hazard identification and hazard and operability studies for specific projects with parameters will further inform the safety and environmental protection requirements. The rules will continue to be refined and adapted as industry demand for net-zero ships grows and evolves. 

Ships fuelled by ammonia and methanol will follow the process first established by the development of LNG as a marine fuel. These new fuels will help reduce the environmental impact of shipping as well as addressing the challenge of global warming.

Andreas Ullrich is business development manager for passenger ships at Bureau Veritas 

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2021 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.  

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By Andreas Ullrich
21 December 2021

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